Ricoh 500GX: A Light Leaks Machine


This is the first in a series of articles on different analog cameras that I’m testing these days. It’s not a exhaustive technical analysis, but rather a list of technical characteristics of each camera and my personal opinion after using it with only one film each. Hope this helps to know a little more these cameras.

The first of these cameras is the Japanese Ricoh 500GX, a handy rangefinder camera with fixed lens Rikenon 40/2.8, made in Taiwan.

Its main features are:

  • Type: Rangefinder with electronic Aperture control.
  • Film: 35mm. ASA 50-800
  • Lens: Rikenon 1:2.8 / 40mm
  • Shutter: Speeds 1 / 8 – 1 / 500 sec.
  • Aperture: 1/2.8 – 1:16
  • Exposure: manual shutter speed selection, aperture controlled by CdS-meter or manually.
  • Battery: 1.35 volt mercury battery PX675

Dimensions: 111 × 71 × 56 mm
Weight: 420 g

Source: Camerapedia

What liked me to this camera, to decide to bid on it (yes, ebay has fall down my finances over the last month) were the rangefinder, the brightness of its lens Rikenon 2.8 and the MX button you have next to the lens. This button is similar to the MX of the LC-A + and reloads the trigger without passing the film.

Once it arrived, I was surprised by his metal construction, robust and amazing touch. I would say it has the right weight. Enough to “feel” in your hands but not enough heavy to leave your neck broken after a day of shooting.

The first photos with this camera and a Schleker film, aren’t great but shows all its potential. I like the tones of the images and the possibility of multiple exposures comfortably, without rewinding and reloading the film in the camera:

Credits: srmarcus

A common “problem” with these cameras, so I’ve read online, is that the interior foam to help close “tightly” the cover to 35mm film is almost always wasted, if not non-existent. Right. The foam of mine is non-existent.

The consequences, you can imagine it, light leaks everywhere:

Credits: srmarcus

To finish, a very good camera with full manual control ability, tact, a fast lens, the possibility of multiple exposures and an affordable price on ebay, but we must watch to the different prices… I think, it’s starting to rise.

written by srmarcus on 2011-06-25 #gear #35mm #review #light-leaks #multiple-exposure #film-camera #user-review #ricoh-mx


  1. mr-korn
    mr-korn ·

    pretty cool cam

  2. icomewhenieatcaponata
    icomewhenieatcaponata ·

    cool camera

  3. neurodiaz
    neurodiaz ·

    great camera.

  4. warrilow-tong
    warrilow-tong ·

    i want one!!!

  5. simonh82
    simonh82 ·

    Looks like an interesting camera, nice saturated colours.

  6. matwurst
    matwurst ·

    does this camera work without a battery? mine only shoots with 1/125 on every speed (even B). opinions?

  7. h3mm1ng1976
    h3mm1ng1976 ·

    i have the 500ME . it's very similar and very good to use with it's multi exposure function .

  8. bongo_biene
    bongo_biene ·

    i use the lill sista, so the rocoh 500 G.
    for multiexpusure u can just press the rewind button when you and get the same effect

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